I was very pleased to see the cover story of the September 21 edition (“Tied together: Water agencies look to grant to create integrated system,” page 2) discussing the importance of our local water agencies working together to provide water following a major disaster, such as an earthquake. We all seem to take it for granted the ability to receive safe drinking water in our homes. As a Scotts Valley resident and a consultant who specializes in emergency planning for the water sector, I find it refreshing to know the organizations that supply water to our region are seeking grant funding to tie their systems together when the availability of water is compromised. Denial of service is one of the most common emergency planning issues facing the water industry, and seeing our area providers taking positive steps says tremendous things about their staff and governing boards.
This became an issue in the Whispering Pines area of Scotts Valley within the past six months, when a well along Graham Hill Road required immediate repair, and the San Lorenzo Water District used an interconnect with the Scotts Valley Water District to provide water to the area while the pump was down. With the addition of more of these interconnects between the various systems, our local government emergency management agencies could be relieved of the tremendous burden of supplying potable water to residents following a disaster, when resources are already spread thin.
People can live without food much longer than they can without water. Because of this, we still need to keep an emergency supply of water on hand to last at least 72 hours, as localized water main breaks may occur no matter how much pre-disaster planning takes place.
Again, thanks to our water agency officials for planning ahead of time in order to make our lives a little better, while we’re all trying to cope with the next disaster, whenever it comes our way.
Russ Patterson, Scotts Valley